by Kevin Taylor & r & That "whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh" you heard last weekend was Henry Rollins getting off on an overnight delivery whiplash start -- from Ames, Iowa, to Ukiah, Calif., from Hartford, Conn., to Johnson City, Tenn. -- for his 25 Years of Bullshit tour. When The Inlander tried to reach Rollins for a chat, he sent back an e-mail: "Can't do it. On the move."
Indeed, when Rollins takes on a project -- and he often takes on about 12 at once -- he moves. As he told our Mike Corrigan before his previous Spokane appearance in 2003, "I am not into going through this life quietly. Have you noticed? I want to whup that ass. You want to call me a name? Match me. Jog with me for a month, I guarantee you, you will be out of breath, and I will be slapping you on the back of your head going, 'What's the matter, son? You're twentysomething and you can't keep up with me? I'm 42, bitch, let's go.' "
Rollins will spend more than two months ping-ponging around North America during this tour, and will bounce into the Met on Nov. 11 for a show.
The 25 Years of Bullshit tour denotes Rollins' quarter-century as a performer, first with the punk band Black Flag and lately as a spoken-word artist. Can he be described as a blend of Chris Rock and Spalding Gray? Would that make him the Monster Outside of the Box?
Or consider Rollins a modern-day Mark Twain, who was himself no gentle humorist. Rollins' show in Hartford was at the Mark Twain House and Museum, in fact, as part of a series entitled, "A Pen Warmed Up in Hell." Rollins mirrors Twain & acute;s admiration for direct discussion of social and political issues. Like Twain, Rollins promises to entertain, inform and in some cases really piss people off.
Rollins is a Renaissance man, still playing music with the Rollins Band, acting in a variety of films, hosting Henry's Film Corner on the Independent Film Channel and pulling all the threads together at his online publishing house, 2.13.61.com.
Tattooed, scarily buff and with jarhead-short hair, Rollins has also done six USO tours in the last two years, performing in Iraq, Korea, Egypt, Turkey, Afghanistan (twice) and Kyrgyzstan.
"Since the last tour, I have done a lot of extensive travel to Iraq, Kuwait, Siberia, South Korea and other places and picked up some hopefully interesting stories," Rollins says in a press release. "We are living in interesting times and as bad as things are, I draw considerable inspiration from some of the things I'm seeing and people I'm meeting. I'm looking forward to getting out on the road and talking about it all."
The show promises timely commentary on politics, pop culture and Rollins' most recent exploits with some of his favorite stories from 25 years on the road.
More than a "best of" or a retrospective, the 25 Years of Bullshit tour continues to riff on current events, well-researched facts and personal experience. There is likely to be an element of "today's headlines" in the news, given Rollins' recent trips and the fact he was to make a since-canceled appearance in New Orleans on this tour.